Immigrants and Nationalists: Ethnic Conflict and Accommodation in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Latvia, and Estonia

Immigrants and Nationalists: Ethnic Conflict and Accommodation in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Latvia, and Estonia

Immigrants and Nationalists: Ethnic Conflict and Accommodation in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Latvia, and Estonia

Immigrants and Nationalists: Ethnic Conflict and Accommodation in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Latvia, and Estonia

Synopsis

Shafir examines and compares the reception of large numbers of immigrants to four regions at opposite ends of Europe that are relatively overdeveloped but that at the same time possess distinct cultures and nationalist movements of their own: Catalonia and the Basque Provinces in Spain and the Republics of Latvia and Estonia on the Baltic.

Excerpt

Nationalism in its wide ranging manifestations, from benign to sinister, has always been a source of fascination as well as concern to me. The barriers placed by nationalists in the way of the waves of global immigration has brought home its vast influence yet again. An empirical study of nationalism, ethnicity, and immigration and their interaction seemed necessary to sort out the different aspects and limitations. Comparative and historical sociology go a long way toward providing the tools for this task.

I chose to study nationalism in developed regions because of the challenge they posed to existing theoretical wisdom and because they seemed to have a number of potentially benign inclusionary aspects. In the autumn of 1988, when I first read about the formation of the Popular Front movements in the then Latvian SSR and Estonian SSR of the USSR, I planned to compare Catalonia with Latvia and Estonia. Later that year, when I read Diez Medrano's dissertation I recognized that there is another type of nationalism in developed regions, every bit as exclusionary as some of the less savory types of nationalism, and included the Basque case in the study.

Anybody familiar with the work of Juan Diez Medrano on the genesis and character of Catalan and Basque nationalism and of Kit Woolard on Catalan society and language will notice the profound impact they had on my thinking. Many of my thanks go them for their warm personal support and for putting at my disposal unpublished versions of their work. It is a pleasure to thank my student Lynne Hanney, who helped me collect sources when I started this project. I gratefully acknowledge the helped given to me by Ana Devic with some of the Russian sources. This might be the first time Edis Bevan and the other "mailmen" of the Balt-L computer network are thanked for their contribution to a research project, but probably not the last time. And I would like to thank Andy Scull for being the thoughtful and dependable colleague he consistently has been to me. Carlos Waisman gave me very useful suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript which helped give this work its present emphases.

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